The Simplest, Most Direct Argument for God’s Existence

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Cosmos

William Lane Craig is one of the sharpest Christian apologists today, especially on questions about God’s existence, Jesus’ Resurrection, and objective morality. The Evangelical philosopher travels around the country giving workshops and lectures. He’s best known for his public debates with well-known atheists and skeptics. (You can watch many of them online through his excellent Reasonable Faith website.)

During these debates, Craig has a very short time to make a clear and compelling case for God. One of his favorite arguments, on which he wrote his doctoral dissertation, is the kalam cosmological argument. Christians have many arguments for God, but the kalam has become increasingly popular because it is straightforward, easy-to-remember, and modern physics affirms one of its crucial premises (note: the argument doesn’t depend on science, but the latest science strongly affirms it.)

The kalam argument is fairly simple:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause for its coming into being.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause for its coming into being, outside of itself.

From there we can deduce that since the cause must exist beyond space and time—since it caused those things—it must be spaceless and timeless. It also must be transcendent (existing outside the universe) and supremely powerful (since it created the entire cosmos.) Therefore, we’re left with a spaceless, timeless, transcendent, supremely powerful cause of the universe—or what believers would call God.

Recently, Craig released a short five-minute video covering the argument. Watch it a few times, remember the in’s and out’s, and you’ll be prepared next time someone tells you, “There’s no evidence for God!”
 

 
(If you can’t see the video above, click here.)
 
If you’d like to go deeper with this argument and others, I’d suggest Craig’s popular book, On Guard: Defending Your Faith With Reason and Precision. For a more academic perspective, check out Fr. Robert Spitzer’s challenging New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy. Finally, explore the articles and discussions at StrangeNotions.com where we cover arguments like this almost every day. Dr. Edward Feser recently contributed an especially interesting post titled “So You Think You Understand the Cosmological Argument?

Brandon Vogt

Brandon Vogt

Brandon Vogt is a Catholic writer and speaker who blogs at BrandonVogt.com. He's also the author of The Church and Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet and the top hit on Google for "greatest evil in the world".

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5 thoughts on “The Simplest, Most Direct Argument for God’s Existence”

  1. 1. The Kalam argument was most directly proposed by Islamic theologians and is the Arabic word for discourse.

    2.Craig’s augmentation of the Kalam argument in its first premise , he argues, is based upon metaphysical intuition and experience…both quite subjective phenomenon.

    3. Quantum mechanics and radioactive decay do not follow this argument.

    4. The Cyclic model, vacuum fluctuation models, and the Harle-Hawking state model indicate that infinity can exist.

    5 Not a widely accepted model in the quantum field community and is certainly debatable.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Phil. My thoughts in response:

      1.Perhaps, but how this is relevant? How would this fact affect the argument?

      2. That may be true, but you’ve given no good reason to deny the Kalam’s first premise. Do you believe things come into existence without a cause? If so, please provide evidence. If not, then in light of the overwhelming evidence around us of things coming into existence through a cause, we must agree the first premise is more likely true than not.

      3. Neither quantum mechanics nor radiocative decay disprove the Kalam’s second premise, since neither are examples of something beginning to exist without a cause. I suggest reading Trent Horn’s article, Does Quantum Physics Refute the Kalām Argument for God?.

      4. None of those models prove an *actually* infinite past. William Lane Craig deals with all three types of models in both Reasonable Faith and in his article for the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. I’d especially point you to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem (2003) which proves that any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary. Craig unpacks the BVG theorem in both books as well.

      5. Again, this assertion does nothing to disprove any of the Kalam’s premises. As for the effect of quantum mechanics on the Kalam argument, I again refer you to Trent Horn’s article, Does Quantum Physics Refute the Kalām Argument for God?..

  2. Pingback: The Complicated, Love-based Argument for God’s Existence : IgnitumToday

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